Updated: Jan 6
Do you know what physical therapists are not taught in school? How to market their services. Most large outpatient orthopedic clinics pay marketers specializing in recruiting patients directly from physicians to their clinics.
Upon graduation from PT school, I quickly saw the need to learn from clinic marketers. If no patients find their way to your clinic, what good are all of these new skills you've learned?
So let's talk to a true Master, Patty Lomeli. Patti worked for Achieve Physical Therapy for 13 years in Las Vegas, NV as marketing director.
I sat down and talk with Patty about the best strategies to market to physicians. Here's what she had to say!
Kelli: What's the biggest marketing mistake a PT can make at a physician's office?
Patty: Making the front office or medical assistant feel less important than the doctor.
K: What's the best approach to getting attention at an office?
P: From my experience, you market to medical assistants. 90% of the time physicians don't know where their patients receive PT. Therefore, the decision of where to send patients comes from the MA. Doctors trust their MA and don't want to be bothered with referrals.
K: Interesting. What do you tell the MA to make your practice stand out?
P: I promise MA's how easy I will make their job when referring patients. We call and schedule their patients. We notify when the patient is compliant or not. We send progress reports for follow-up visits.
K: Are there any other people in the office helpful for marketing?
P: I work to befriend all the front office and receptionists. When I do get a referral from an office I follow up with a small gift card from somewhere or some thing I noticed they would like. For example, if we talked about their kids I will get them a $20 gift card to Target. If they always have great hair and makeup I will get them a $20 gift card to Sephora. When I get them something specifically for them I write a thank you card and tell them how much I appreciate them and how much it means to me that they are now referring to me. How much it helps me! I feel people like to know they have helped someone out.
K: What are some other tips and tricks you've learned along the way?
P: I love getting cell numbers! It's quick and easy to follow up. I usually say "Hey here's my cell number and I want you to text me anytime you need a little pick me up or Starbucks treat! " Once they do text me I save their number and text them two weeks after letting them know I'm in the area and I would love to bring them something. Letting them know I am thinking of them is key.
K: So the big takeaway is........
P: Engage, engage, engage!
A HUGE thank you to Patty for contributing to this week's blog. Patty's wisdom is woven throughout Concierge Orthopedics marketing workbook as well. Get yours today!